Coca-Cola fills new international chief position

•ATLANTA - The Coca-Cola Co. on Tuesday named company veteran Muhtar Kent to a newly created position of president of international operations as the world's largest beverage maker continued its strategy to centralize its leadership structure.

Coke's chief executive, Neville Isdell, said it's ''premature'' to consider whether Kent, who will be responsible for all of the Atlanta-based company's operations outside of North America, could one day be his replacement.

''It's not an indicator one way or another,'' Isdell, 62, who has been CEO for 19 months, told a small group of reporters on a conference call.

Stocks drop as oil tops $66 a barrel

•NEW YORK - Stocks skidded Tuesday as oil prices rose past $66 a barrel and Wells Fargo & Co. and other bank earnings disappointed the market.

U.S. investors sold off equities as crude oil futures soared after an attack on an oil platform in Nigeria, the fifth largest oil exporter to the United States. A barrel of light crude settled at a three-and-a-half month high of $66.31, up $2.39, in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil prices have been creeping higher for weeks but Tuesday's ''sharp, violent rise'' bit into stocks as investors consolidated gains from the first weeks of January, said Steven Goldman, chief market strategist, Weeden & Co. in Greenwich, Conn.

SEC to require executive pay info

•WASHINGTON - Regulators moved Tuesday to require companies to provide far greater detail about executives' pay and perks in an effort to bring more openness to an area that has provoked investor anger.

The five-member Securities and Exchange Commission voted unanimously to propose the biggest changes in rules governing disclosure of executives' compensation since 1992. The proposal could be adopted by the SEC sometime after a 60-day public comment period, possibly in time for the spring annual-meeting season next year.

Tequila dispute resolved

•WASHINGTON - The United States and Mexico signed an agreement Tuesday that will allow continued bulk shipments of tequila from Mexico into the United States.

In 2003, the Mexican government issued a proposal that would have banned bulk shipments and required that all Mexican tequila bound for the United States be bottled in Mexico. In 2004, 74 percent of the tequila imported into the United States was shipped in bulk form.

-From wire reports